UW System College Preparatory Course Requirements

The range of courses offered at today's high schools is designed to prepare students with differing interests and abilities for a variety of life-after-high-school options.

"College prep" courses are particularly important for providing the academic background needed to succeed at a college or university. A college preparatory program helps develop competence in four primary areas—English, mathematics, social studies, and natural science.

All UW System campuses require new freshmen to have completed a minimum of 17 high school credits. Thirteen of these credits must be "core college preparatory" (English, mathematics, natural science, and social science/history); an additional four electives are required.

Subject Credits
English 4 credits
Mathematics 3 credits
Natural Science 3 credits
Social Science/History 3 credits

In addition to the "core college preparatory" credits identified, students need to complete a minimum of four elective credits as follows:

Subject Credits
Electives An additional 4 credits may be chosen from English, mathematics, natural science, social science/history, foreign language, fine arts, computer science, and other academic areas. (Two years of a single foreign language are required for admission to UW-Eau Claire and UW-Madison, and strongly recommended at other UW System campuses.) Some UW System campuses may also accept technical and career courses for a portion of these 4 elective credits.

All students are encouraged to exceed the minimum number of college preparatory credits required for admission. Students who choose a rigorous high school curriculum (including senior year course work) are more successful in college. Strong academic preparation for college helps to ensure success.

Though all UW System campuses require a minimum of 17 college preparatory credits, Campus-Specific College Preparatory Course Requirements provides more detailed information by campus.

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